Lumiere by Jacqueline Garlick Review









“Living in eternal twilight might sound romantic, but it’s not. It’s simply depressing.” With that, Lumiere opens the first chapter and sets up the tone of the snarky, strong-willed protagonist, Eyelet.  This novel is a bit steam punk, a bit dystopian, and a lot of action, which becomes evident within the first chapter.  The novel begins with a bang, starting the action at the very beginning and never really letting up. The entire novel is a bit of an info dump, however, I find it necessary to build the world and science surrounding the plot to the fullest extent.  The way things were explained was never confusing, but it was a lot of information for those who do not enjoy that type of thing. The novel quickly progresses after her mother’s death at the beginning of the novel. Eyelet went from being a semi-normal girl to a wanted “criminal”.  I am a bit horrified about how they deal with those believed to practice magic.  Dipping people still living into wax then letting them hang about the square like some morbid candle just makes me cringe to imagine.  

Romance

Once Eyelet is able to escape we are introduced to the other main character, Urlick Babbit.  He is described as an albino with raven hair, pink eyes, and birthmarks on both his face and neck.  He is not a typical love interest by any means, but I find that refreshing. It allowed for the characters to interact and bond based on personality versus based solely on “hotness” like it is in so many YA these days.  The romance between the two felt more organic as a result.  I truly loved the two of them together, and felt like they complimented one another well.  My one complaint is that Eyelet lost a bit of her “spark” when the two of them got together. I understand give and take in a relationship, she just gave up a bit more of her independence than I would have preferred.  Over all though, especially compared to others in the same genre, they had a truly healthy relationship which I enjoyed reading about.  It definitely added to the plot, but was not all consuming. It also is a bit steamier than some YA novels, so may not be appropriate for younger (or immature) readers.  Spoiler Speaking of, who the hell has the energy to nearly have sex right after being resuscitated?? I mean, don’t get me wrong I enjoyed the scene. However, it is highly unrealistic since she was basically dead a minute before. She is either superhuman, really wanted the D, or the author has no clue how the human body functions. Due to the violence, I would not truly recommend this novel for the younger side of the YA spectrum anyway (unless they are mature enough to deal with slit throats and candle people).


Characters (Includes Spoilers)

Eyelet

Our protagonist of the novel, she is smart, snarky, and strong willed.  She is highly independent, but capable of admitting she needs help.  As a whole, she is a very dynamic character and incredibly well rounded.  She grows throughout the novel, learning to rely on others more as well as becoming less brash. My biggest complaint is that I wish she had retained more of her independence and spark with Urlick.  At times, she took a back seat in what was happening within the novel.  Considering how independent she was initially, I found this to be totally out of character.  Even if it was to depict how she came to rely on him, she just became a bit too passive for my preference.  Also, I found it odd how initially her prowess with inventions and mechanical objects was highlighted yet by the end of the novel it disappeared. 

Urlick Babbit

The second narrator and protagonist of the novel, Urlick is unique, kind, and stubborn.  He is fiercely loyal to those he loves and cares about.  He handled being thrust into an insane situation exceptionally well. From accidentally saving Eyelet to all of the conspiracy with the machine, he just seemed to roll with it all.  While to some extent, this could be realistic towards low-key personalities; to this extreme degree it was a bit idealistic.  Most people would have panicked or said no at some point in time.  I understand he was written as compassionate, but there typically is an extent to it.

Smrt

If you could think of a stereotypical villain with an evil chuckle and top hat, you would basically have Smrt.  He was not a well hashed out character, and ended up being almost cartoonish at times.  He was a villain to the core, no redeeming qualities.  Lately I have preferred an antagonist that is complex, who toes the line of evil and good.  Smrt is not that.  While I can appreciate a truly evil character, I periodically expected him to start twirling a mustache.  Instead of adding suspense to the climax, I chuckled a bit with some scenes involving him.  That is not a positive thing, especially at the crux of the book.  While it did not detract from my enjoyment immensely, it did bump it down a few levels.


Conclusion

In all, Lumiere was an excellent Indie novel from a debut author.  I did not have the highest expectations for it going in, and was pleasantly surprised.  It is a solid novel, and hopefully the author will improve the few flaws in the subsequent novels.


*I received this ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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